Introducing the Psyche-mentation

At HRW Shift, HRW’s internal team of behavioural science experts, we see the application of behavioural science to be as varied as it is valuable – and we’ve found it has enhanced many of our quant research capabilities.

Applying BeSci to segmentations then, is an intuitive fit given how segmentations typically seek to better understand behaviour and attitudes of a particular audience. But as with so many things in life, it’s not necessarily what you do but the way you do it.

Our Psyche-mentation takes segmentation research to the next level. Where a behavioural segmentation looks purely at behaviours (e.g. what prescriptions are written) and an attitudinal segmentation looks at, well, attitudes, our Psyche-mentation explores the underlying psychological factors. This approach digs deeper to better understand your audience’s total human experience, exposing all sorts of factors shaping their behaviour – including the ones they themselves might not even be aware of!


Why does that matter?

We believe that creating a good segmentation comes down to actionability. If you want to influence something you need to understand what is driving the underlying behaviour behind it.

A Psyche-mentation is ideally suited to instances where the objective is either to change the behaviour of segments, or to access a much deeper understanding of what is driving and motivating different groups, and it provides you three key benefits:

  1. It provides the key to getting more out of what you already have
  2. It allows you to frame questions in a way that uncovers deeper drivers
  3. It makes the resulting segments more actionable and provides guidance on how to connect with the deeper drivers of each segment

As it’s built around validated behaviour change frameworks, the Psyche-mentation’s bespoke interventions developed and tailored to activate each segment, are proven to effectively address the behavioural biases at play, the end result is this unparalleled actionability.


So what does a Psyche-mentation look like?

Making sure the right inputs go into our segmentation questionnaires has always been key – meaning we often start with qualitative understanding of customers as a first phase in segmentation research. However, this traditional approach doesn’t make the most of your team’s knowledge.

When it comes to our Psyche-mentation there are two main approaches. The gold standard involves developing a new segmentation ‘from scratch’, which enables tailoring of the entire questionnaire to maximally leverage BeSci from the inception of the project.

This involves a review of existing data and research, to identify themes and patterns in data allowing us to design questions that are framed in a way that directly targets and elicits evidence and indications of active biases. The analysis run by our data science team then reveals segments which are characterised by one (or more) biases and how these differ between segments – in other words, segmentation solutions with behavioural science at the heart!

In instances where you have an established segmentation, our approach can be adapted to be overlaid on top of the existing profiles. Attitudes and behaviours which characterise segments can be deconstructed, with these insights then enhanced and stress tested by supplementary interviews shining a light on unconscious motivators of each segment. Although not as powerful as the full process, this can ‘level up’ the actionability of your existing segmentation.


What makes this more actionable?

The jewel in the crown of the psyche-mentation is its unparalleled actionability. There are over 500 recorded biases, mental shortcuts (‘heuristics’) and logical fallacies that shape behaviour. Shift’s multidisciplinary expertise provides a level of fluency with these that means we’re not restricted to working with just the better-known biases.

Our ability to accurately identify so many of these behavioural influencers means we can use this validated vocabulary of ‘misbehaviours’ as an analytical framework and combine this with validated behaviour change frameworks like EAST, COM-B and MINDSPACE.

This dual pronged behavioural science approach means identification of the segments is combined with a deep understanding of how to activate them. It’s rooted in proven tactics and strategies known to shift behaviour in the presence of the biases at play.

The end result is a clear insight and direction for developing targeted activation strategies to influence the relevant behaviours. Most critically, this means interventions are instantly actionable and enable our clients to get the implementation wheels rolling as soon as we wrap up the debrief.


So what’s the take-away?

In short, a Psyche-mentation roots your segmentation in behaviour change by capitalising on the research you’ve already invested tens, maybe hundreds of thousands on – creating a more actionable result for your team.

At HRW, we are continually seeking to evolve our research, putting behaviour change at the heart of our approaches. We believe the combination of data science and behavioural science in segmentations could transform the way we look at conducting this type of research – please out if you’d like to hear more!


By Rhiannon Phillips

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